Piacenza, unpublished portrait of Queen Elizabeth Farnese found

An unpublished portrait of Queen Elisabetta Farnese was found in Piacenza, which a note by Ferdinando Arisi, found in the frame of the painting, attributed to Mulinaretto. Two other portraits derived from the same model are known.

In Piacenza, the city-based Iori auction house announces that it has found a portrait of Queen Elisabeth Farnese, depicted holding the blue ribbon of the Order of the Holy Spirit of France, which a note by scholar Ferdinando Arisi, a leading expert on the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in Piacenza, identifies as a work by Giovanni Maria delle Piane known as il Mulinaretto (Genoa, 1660 - Monticelli di Ongina, 1745). The painting comes from an inheritance and was recently found and sold along with other works of art from the early 18th century: it was probably part of the furnishings of the residence of a noble Piacenza family then related to the Farnese family. Arisi’s authentication was found in the work’s frame.

According to leaked information from the auction house, it would be a painting made in 1714 on the occasion of the wedding that took place by proxy in the same year in Parma with King Philip V of Spain: the peculiarity lies in the fact that Queen Elisabeth Farnese is portrayed wearing a crimson-red mantle, at the time reserved only for the royal family and a symbol of sovereign power. This unprecedented peculiarity differentiates the found portrait from the other two known works, and always made by Mulinaretto on the same model, such as the three-quarter-length one but with a light blue mantle, later chosen by Queen Elisabeth herself as a gift to Cardinal Alberoni and now on display in the Museum of Collegio Alberoni in Piacenza, or like the full-length one also with a light blue mantle exhibited in the Museum of the Royal Palace of Caserta.

A discovery that will therefore cause much discussion in the city, not least because it comes on the eve of the exhibition that the Civic Museums of Palazzo Farnese are dedicating precisely to Elisabeth Farnese: the portrait therefore is bound to make people talk about it.

The portrait of Queen Elizabeth Farnese discovered in Piacenza
The portrait of Queen Elisabeth Farnese discovered in Piacenza

Piacenza, unpublished portrait of Queen Elizabeth Farnese found
Piacenza, unpublished portrait of Queen Elizabeth Farnese found

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